The time has arrived as the Texas coast braces for the nation’s first major hurricane landfall in 12 years. Hurricane Harvey was upgraded this afternoon to a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 125 mph. According to Riskpulse’s Real Time Analysis Feed for Harvey, the forecast track has remained consistent, with landfall later tonight near central Texas.
Riskpulse, a supply chain risk analytics firm, is saying that flooding remains a primary concern with rainfall totals surpassing 20 inches in some areas and the possibility of 40 inches through the middle of next week as the storm is forecast to stall over Texas.
“Our anticipated timing of the most significant impacts focuses on the late Saturday through early Wednesday period, when Harvey’s forward motion is expected to be the slowest,” Riskpulse says. “This will provide opportunity for quasi-stationary bands of rain to form to the north of Harvey and deliver intense rainfall very quickly to a relative small area. At this time, the area of most concern is along the Interstate 10 corridor between San Antonio and Houston and points south toward Victoria.”
The National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) 5 p.m. update expects landfall to occur along the middle Texas coast. “After that, the track models insist that the hurricane will slow down considerably during the next 24 hours, and it is likely to move very little between 36 and 120 hours,” it said. “In fact, there has been a somewhat notable change in the guidance, with very few of the models showing Harvey lifting out toward the northeast by the end of the 5-day forecast period. As a result, the NHC track forecast has been pulled back a bit and keeps Harvey near or just inland of the Texas coast through the middle of next week. This slow motion only exacerbates the heavy rainfall and flooding threat across southern and southeastern Texas.”
That lingering of the storm is what could bring the heavier rainfall totals that Riskpulse is looking at.
“These heavy rains are anticipated to last through at least Wednesday as Harvey stalls,” it said. “It is not yet certain when or how quickly Harvey will move out of the central Texas coastline, but the heavy rainfall remains the most significant concern, with the danger of being catastrophic in locals in and south of the Houston metro beginning late Sunday.”